Known also as la Méridienne, it is a developmental project with the aim of speeding up and reducing the cost of car travel from Paris southwards, and apart from the Millau Viaduct, it is entirely free for the 340 km (210 mi) between Clermont-Ferrand and Béziers. It was due for completion in spring 2011, but in fact was fully open in December 2010.
A large portion of the A75 is also part of the European route E11.
The building of a motorway across the Massif Central is, in itself, a formidable achievement. Much of the motorway runs at an altitude in excess of 800 m (2600 ft) with 50 km in excess of 1000 m (3250 ft).
The single most impressive feature is undoubtedly the Millau Viaduct, which carries the road over the Tarn River. It was constructed under a government contract with the Eiffage group, effective for 75 years. Eiffage collects tolls at agreed rates making this the only tolled part of the A75.
Other impressive features include:
Viaducts and bridges
- Viaduc de la Violette, 560 m long, between junctions 21 & 22
- Pont sur la Truyere, 311 m long, between junctions 30 and 31
- Viaduc du Piou, 414 m long, between junctions 38 and 39
- Viaduc du Ricoulong, 342 m long, between junctions 38 and 39
- Viaduc de la Planchette, 221 m long, between junctions 38 and 39
- Viaduc de la Verrières, 710 m long, between junctions 44 and 44.1
- Viaduc de la Garrigue, 340 m long, between junctions 44.1 and 42
- Viaduc de Millau, 2500 m long, between junctions 45 and 46
- 990 m between junctions 24 and 25
- Col de la Fageole, 1107 m, between junctions 26 and 27
- Col des Issartets, 1121 m, the highest point on the A75, between junctions 36 and 37
- Col de la Fayette, 882 m, between junctions 40 and 41
- Col d'Engayresque, 888 m, between junctions 44 and 44.1
- Tunnel de Montjezieu, 616 m long at an altitude of 650 m, between junctions 39.1 and 40
- Tunnel de Pas d'Escalette, 725 m southbound, 830 m northbound, between junctions 50 and 51
- Tunnel de la Vierge, 474 m, between junctions 52 and 53
- † The section between junctions 59 and 61 (the Pézenas by-pass) was not technically motorway and was still designated as the N9, despite the depiction on most maps. Work to upgrade the section to full motorway status was carried out between September 2013 and June 2014.
In May 2007, construction started on the final section of the A75, a connection from Pézenas to the A9 autoroute a kilometre or so east of the previous Béziers east intersection 35. The route to the south of the present D609 Pézenas-Béziers road bypassing Valros opened in February 2009. Further sections opened in spring 2010. The final section, a gap between Valros and Servian, was completed in December 2010. According to Serge Cuculière, construction operations manager, the delay was due to difficulties encountered on the section ("Les difficultés recontrées sur la section exigent un temps de réalisation plus important").
- "A75: Le point sur les travaux entre Pézenas et Béziers", Midi Libre, 16 June 2008, p3
- "Association La Méridienne: On n'a pas tous les jours..". Decouverte & Patrimoine (Projective Groupe) (9): 28. 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to A75 autoroute.|
- La Meridienne official website (French): tourist information
- A75 autoroute at Saratlas (Note: The distances on this site are inaccurate)
- Rest areas on the magnificent A75 autoroute Three noteworthy areas described. Photo illustrations, sketch maps.